Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Providence looks to chalk up Blackboard for $1.64 Billion

It is thought provoking that an e-learning company would be worth $1.64 Billion, in cash. But that's exactly what Providence Equity Partnership have valued Blackboard for, in their recent acquisition offer.

Blackboard have historically been the dominant player in the educational VLE market, although over the past year they have been losing a significant proportion of their market share to open source alternatives such as Moodle and Sakai.
So, what does this mean for EMEA based corporates?
Is this shift in ownership going to create some ripples, this side of the pond?
In the short term, not really. Blackboard isn't a name that has really been that visible in the EMEA enterprise sector. Their academic model, hasn't attracted much interest outside of the academic world in Europe.
But, looking further out, this could be a turning point for Blackboard, and could mean the start of a a sea change in the LMS market.
With the Learning Management System market-place moving increasingly towards a more holistic, talent and performance story, corporate talent networks, and collaborative work-based learning approaches; Blackboard's VLE functionality could become much more attractive, if Blackboard moves some of its focus from managing semester based education programmes to supporting the corporate learning context.